Fodor's Washington DC 2001"Fodor's guides cover culture authoritatively and rarely miss a sight or museum." - National Geographic Traveler
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We've compiled a helpful list of guidebooks that complement Fodor's Washington D.C. 2001. To learn more about them, just enter the title in the keyword search box.
Fodor's Cityguide Washington, D.C.: The Ultimate Sourcebook for residents and travelers.Fodor's Citypack Washington, D.C.: A full-color pocket-size guidebook and a full-size color map, all in one sturdy plastic sleeve.Fodor's Flashmaps Washington, D.C.: The ultimate street and information finder.
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Destination Washington, D.C.
It's hard to anticipate the impact of Washington, D.C. As you enter the city, buildings you've seen on a thousand postcards, icons of America, stand firmly before you, larger than life: the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Capitol. Rising majestically from the low city, often flanked by sweeping lawns, they inspire awe. Just as striking, almost palpable, is the energy that comes from Washington's being the nation's center of government. Congressional staff rush around Capitol Hill, motorcades speed down side streets, politicians jockey for position on the Senate floor. After working hours, the city turns quiet and reflective. Take a stroll on the Mall one night when moonlight washes the monuments. Pause to contemplate the city's grandeur. And, ready or not, you will be moved.
The soul of the nation takes tangible form in stone as you walk the streets south and west of Union Station, the grand Beaux-Arts rail terminal that even today welcomes thousands to Washington. The city's power grid is focused on the White House; a guided tour is obligatory and enlightening despite the tight format. Across the street and a heartbeat away is the vice president's office in the wedding cake Old Executive Office Building. Another tour de rigueur is the glorious Capitol with its grand and inspiring rotunda. Other Washington monuments will move you to tears-notably the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a quietly shining black wall, half-sunk into the lawn and inscribed with the names of those who have died for their country. Opposite, another wall remembers the hundreds of thousands of American and United Nations troops who perished in the Korean conflict. Daniel Chester French's statue of Abraham Lincoln gazes down from his vigil inside the Parthenonlike Lincoln Memorial, providing solace in troubled moments to Washingtonians great and small. Another venue for contemplation is Arlington National Cemetery, where John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert are entombed along with so many other soldiers, known and unknown. For causes noble or murky, those interred here died in fealty to that which Washington gathers unto itself: America.
If, by sci-fi fantasy, every government building were whisked off to the moon, the city would remain a world-class destination for its museums alone. So often their names include the word "national," as if to proclaim that the Very Best of America is inside. Many are part of the Smithsonian Institution, once dubbed "the Nation's attic." In its National Air and Space Museum, you can touch a moon rock and see Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of Saint Louis and numerous sparkly, spiky space craft-there's no collection of things airborne more persuasively curated. The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History houses more than 120 million specimens, plus an insect zoo complete with tarantula feedings. The National Museum of American History, also a Smithsonian institution, has George Washington's false teeth and the original Star-Spangled Banner. Elsewhere, Washington's art makes the senses reel. Among the masterworks in the National Gallery of Art is Leonardo's pensive Ginevra de' Benci. Cozier in scale, the Phillips Collection houses Degas' Dancers at the Bar and other treasures. Close by but a world away in mood is the powerful United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a shattering testament to man's inhumanity to man.
You can have a film-gobbling stay in Washington without ever realizing that people live here. But the city's neighborhoods are definitely worth a look. Toniest of all is Georgetown, where the university of the same name stands high on a hill. Power and wealth reside here -along with Washingtonians enchanted by either or both. Georgetown is pricey, chic, yuppie, inarguably pretty. Kalorama is leafy, peaceful, and exclusive. Down-to-earth and ethnically diverse, Adams-Morgan can be crowded but it's never dull; the same can be said of vibrant, fashionable Dupont Circle and the trendy U Street area. A world away is tiny Chinatown, where designer coffee refreshingly, in the opinion of many is a tough find.
Table of Contents
Destination Washington, D.C.
The White House Area
Old Downtown and Federal Triangle
Cleveland Park and the National Zoo
Nightlife and the Arts
Outdoor Activities and Sports
C&O Canal National Historic Park and Great Falls Park
Mount Vernon, Woodlawn, and Gunston Hall
Backgrounds and Essentials
"Edifice Treks," by John F. Kelly
"The Federal Government: How Our System Works," by Betty Ross
Smart Travel Tips A to Z